How to Boost Your Master Antioxidant

October 31, 2016 | Wellness Resources

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 How to Boost Your Master Antioxidant
There is one antioxidant that is so important in the body that it has been coined “the mother of all antioxidants”. This antioxidant, known as glutathione (gloo-tuh-THIGH-own), is a tripeptide made up of three amino acids (L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine). It plays essential roles in immunity and detoxification.

The good news is that every cell in our body is capable of making glutathione. The problematic part is that many lifestyle factors including stress, poor diets, pollution, chronic disease, illness, infection, toxins, many medications, trauma, and the natural aging process all deplete the master antioxidant quickly.

Supplementing with glutathione is also difficult because glutathione is a protein. Our body digests proteins and releases individual amino acids. A more effective approach to boost your glutathione levels is by supplementing with nutrients that assist your body’s natural production of glutathione. The following nutrients are crucial for replenishing your master antioxidant and helping you achieve better health!

NACN-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-containing amino acid central to production of glutathione production in the body. Two new studies found that NAC supplementation was able to rebuild low levels in diabetic and elderly individuals with initial low glutathione levels. NAC is also used in hospitals to prevent damage to the liver after a Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose. It helps the liver by increasing levels of the glutathione and protecting the liver.

Coenzyme B Vitamins – B vitamins are perhaps the most critical nutrients for producing glutathione in your body, in particular, vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and hydroxycobalamin), biotin and folate (5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid). Only use coenzyme B vitamins, which are better absorbed and used by your body.

Antioxidants – Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E work synergistically with NAC to produce glutathione in the body and enhance recycling of the master antioxidant. Curcumin, milk thistle (silymarin), lipoic acid and the mineral selenium also act as antioxidants in the body and have the added bonus of fostering glutathione production and recycling.

Whey Protein – Whey protein is an easily digested source of amino acids. Research shows that supplementing with whey protein is a great way to boost glutathione levels because it provides the amino acids required to build glutathione. You must make sure you are supplementing with a whey protein that hasn’t been heated so that the amino acids become denatured. A protein that has been denatured tastes bitter, so companies will use artificial flavors and sweeteners to mask the flavor. Look for an unsweetened, undenatured whey protein supplement free of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides.

In addition to supplementing with the right nutrition, a 20 minute strength training session or 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, swimming or biking can also boost your body’s natural production of glutathione. Boosting levels of the master antioxidant in your body will reduce oxidative stress and may even be the key to anti-aging and preventing disease!

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